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Announcement [Jun. 2nd, 2013|05:23 pm]

Our Dearest Readers,

It has been a long time since we've posted anything, and you have our sincerest apologies for the silence on our part. As often happens, life got in the way. Ki graduated from law school and has been navigating the rocky waters of after-grad employment, which is no easy task. Dark moved from the UK to the USA, and has been getting his life back into order. Gunmetal is balancing both college and work. And Nezu has been directing plays, because he is a crazy, crazy dude.

At this point, we want to make two announcements, one sad, and one glad.

Firstly, Leaves will officially be closing down.

Secondly, we are starting up a brand new project.

This has not been an easy choice to make, particularly as a lot of Leaves’ storylines are unfinished. We do have a backlog of unposted threads that we will be putting up on the comm very soon, to tie up several loose ends, but after six years, we feel we have taken these characters and storylines far as we can, and it’s time to let these iterations of them rest.

That said, we are not done writing.

The new comm, [info]anbu_legacy, is open now. Dark, Nezu, Ki, and Gunmetal will all be returning, introducing new versions of Kakashi, Raidou, Genma, Ryouma, and Katsuko — along with several new characters, and a whole new plot and backstory.

We’d love for you to join us as we explore this new world. As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback. We are also branching out a little, so you’ll be able to follow us on Tumblr for art, factoids of interest, thread announcements, and general worldbuilding.

We have loved this six-year journey with you, and could not have done it without the wonderful support you gave us.

With much love,

Dark, Nezu, Ki, and Gunmetal
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What We Become [Katsuko] [Jul. 8th, 2012|02:00 am]

[Backstory; takes place December the year Katsuko is 19, three years before the current storyline and three years after How to Disappear]

They arrived back at Konoha the first day of the Winter Festival. Katsuko handed out the mission pay to her team, giving each of them a friendly slap on the shoulder. “Nice job, all of you,” she said. “Go home, enjoy yourselves. You’ve earned it.”

Sagara chortled, dashing off a sloppy salute. “Don’t have to tell me twice, Taichou.”

Kiyosuke, their medic, gave him a stern glare. “The first thing you and Mayu are going to do is check yourselves into the hospital. No bar crawling for you two until they reinforce the stitches.”

Mayu groaned, wrapping a slender arm around Sagara’s waist. “That’ll take hours. C’mon, Kiyo-chan. It’s the Festival!”

Kiyosuke bristled, angular shoulders rising almost to his ears. “Don’t call me that!”

“Children,” Katsuko interjected, dryly. They started and turned to look sheepishly at her. “Play nice and don’t give Kiyo-chan an aneurysm.”

“But you’re the youngest, Taichou,” Sagara complained, full mouth twitching. Beside him, Mayu stifled a giggle.

“Physically, yes. Mentally...” Katsuko shrugged, smirking. “Well, I guess there’s a reason they put me in charge.”

She left them laughing at the base of the Hokage’s Tower, waving at her until she turned the corner.

“Ueno-taichou, wait!”

Katsuko glanced over her shoulder. “We’re not on a mission anymore, Kiyosuke-san. I do have a first name.”

Kiyosuke fell in beside her, smiling. His cheeks were a little more flushed than the crisp air of the day called for. “Then, Katsuko-san, I was wondering— after Sagara and Mayu are cleared, do you want to go for a drink? I mean, all of us. It was your first mission as a jounin, right? So we all thought that— afterwards, maybe, we could celebrate together.”

She raised an eyebrow. “‘Celebrate together’? Nishimura Kiyosuke, are you propositioning me for a foursome?”

What?” He sputtered, caught between laughter and horror. “Oh gods, no. Sagara and Mayu were on my genin team, it’d be like incest. But with you—” He coughed, reddening all the way up to his hairline.

Katsuko considered him. Kiyosuke was dark-haired and handsome, with long-fingered hands and a smile that lit up his eyes. He’d been thoroughly professional on the mission, betraying none of the interest that warmed his gaze now. It was nice, for a bit, just to dwell on the feeling of being wanted.

She shook her head, ruefully. )
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Tomorrow Will Be Kinder [Genma, Katsuko] [Jul. 7th, 2012|09:17 pm]

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[Takes place in mid-September, approximately a week following Somebody Saved Me, a month before Ryouma’s return.]

Genma was on his way back from the convenience store, paper sack of late-night provisions in hand, when he saw the pair of stiff-backed Uchiha police staring up at something on the roof of the Merchant’s Exchange Bank. One of them had his arms folded in the universal sign of the displeased authority figure, while the other was elbows-out, hands together, forming seals.

It was probably nothing Genma needed to worry about. He was off duty, out of uniform, and hungry for the rice balls he’d just bought. Raidou would be home within the hour, most likely, and the cops clearly had the situation under control. It was probably some genin kids goofing around on a rooftop where they didn’t belong — who would be foolish enough to rob a bank in a ninja village?

He stopped anyway, staying back in the shadows, trying to catch sight of whatever the MPs were focused on.

“This is your second warning,” the male cop said. “Move to the edge of the roof and identify yourself. If you make us come up there, you’re only going to make this harder on yourself.”

Genma thought he could see a hint of a shadow that wasn’t part of the roofline. It didn’t appear to be moving. Poor kid, frozen in a panic, probably. Caught, and knowing that Uchiha eyes would see through any jutsu he used to cover an escape.

“Last chance,” the cop said.

Abruptly, there was movement: a body-sized object came rolling down the slope of the tiled roof.

“What the...? Ikuko!” The man shouted. The woman released a jutsu that cast a bright phosphorescent glow over the street, illuminating the falling... body. Yes, definitely a body. It tumbled as if the owner were absent, almost until it hit the ground.

Three things happened at once )
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Aren't Any Heroes Here [2/2] [Katsuko] [Mar. 26th, 2012|09:32 pm]

[[Takes place directly after Aren't Any Heroes Here (1/2)]]

”You overextended yourself again,” Hideki-sensei said, lighting a cigarette with a snap of his fingers. He took a deep drag off of it and stared down at her, a dryly amused expression on his face.

Katsuko grinned up at him from where she was sprawled out on the surface of the lake, covered in cuts and bruises. Her pathways ached with exhaustion, the trickle of chakra left in her system barely enough to keep her from sinking into the water. “Gotta keep up with Nori and Beni, Sensei. I’m not gonna be this team’s dead-weight.”

After a long moment of silence, Hideki-sensei sighed. He crouched down beside her, cigarette sending curls of smoke up to wreath his head. “There’s such a thing as overkill, Katsuko. Training’s all well and good, but the way you’re going it won’t be long ‘til you—”

burn yourself up—

She couldn’t breathe, it was dark and she couldn’t breathe— )
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This Broken World We Choose 2 [Backstory: Miyako and Ryuu] [Mar. 8th, 2012|10:09 am]


[[Takes place around 24 years before the main events of Fallen Leaves. Chapter 2 in the backstory of Ryouma's parents, Miyako and Ryuu. Chapter 1 available here.]]

They return to Konoha in a rainy twilight, silent and shivering in their sodden uniforms. It might be early evening, or late afternoon; Ryuu thinks they’ve been on the move at least eight hours, but without the sun it’s hard to be sure. His own weariness is no guide. He’s been weary, it seems, forever. Or at least since Tousaki Miyako was assigned to a team under his command.

His mission brief, three days ago, gave him the barest summary of her record. Chuunin, twenty-one, talented with fire jutsu but unlikely to manifest control over a second chakra nature and be promoted to jounin. Nothing to indicate she’s the type of girl to pick up a stranger in a bar for a standing quickie in an alley, or seduce her team leader on a mission. Or back down from a third seduction, later, and ask merely to be held.

After twenty years as a ninja—genin at eight, jounin at eighteen—Ryuu knows himself. Knows he was a danger in that dawn-bright inn room yesterday, that his iron-forged self-control was brittle, nearly broken. But he hasn’t been that man in nearly six years, and never wants to be him again. He never should have let himself go so far: shouldn’t even have touched Miyako until he was himself again, until the memory of a girl’s blood on his hands faded and he could remember what it meant to be gentle.

Loneliness is no excuse. Neither is telling himself that she asked for it, asked for him; she didn’t know who she was asking. He hasn’t told her his full name and doesn’t mean to. Memories are as short as lives in a ninja village, but some rumors linger. Maybe he should tell her himself, warn her off, scare her off—

But she doesn't seem the type of girl to be easily frightened. )
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Family Matters [Ryouma, Katsuko] [Feb. 21st, 2012|09:14 pm]

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[[Takes place the morning of November 4th, the day after The Truth of the Matter.]]

At some point, Ryouma reflected, he should probably stop picking fights with the skinny short girls. They always ended up wiping the floor with him, and they were too pretty to melt in retaliation.

At least the sky had stopped spinning. He located his fingers and fumbled carefully at the side of his head. No blood clotted his hair; Katsuko had used the flat of her blade.

The flat of her wrapped blade. She’d claimed it would be an insult to use a wooden bokken or bamboo shinai on him, but apparently it wasn’t insulting at all to hit a recovering man over the head with a sword and drop him in the mud.

Served him right for asking her to help him figure out how to use his new knife, anyway. Kakashi had vanished into the seal labs early that morning; Katsuko had shown up not ten minutes later, with a cheerful grin, a demand for breakfast, and an offer to spend the day doing absolutely whatever he wanted, no task too hard, no activity too weird--unless it involved paperwork. Ryouma had considered the likely results of dropping Katsuko in with the Canal Street kids for all of ten seconds before he decided that they’d probably eat each other alive. Or, worse, encourage each other.

Instead he’d asked her to join him in the training fields. She’d promised not to go too easy on him. In retrospect, he probably should have asked her to promise not to try to kill him, either.

“Can I yield yet?” he asked the sky. “Or d’you have some point to prove, beyond the fact that you’re shorter and lighter and still better than I am?”
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The Talking Cure [Kakashi] [Feb. 5th, 2012|05:20 pm]


[Begins on May 15th, a week after To Fit the Crime and a month after Ryouma's disappearance.]

Shira Yumon tapped his fingers gently on his desk, and studied the ID photograph paperclipped to the upper corner of the open file. A stony-faced, masked young man with mismatched eyes stared back, looking directly into the camera. Hatake Kakashi, the White Fang’s only son. Twenty years old, ANBU Hunter for five of them.

It was going to be an interesting day.

“Tell me a little about yourself,” Yumon invited, starting things easy.

The blank stare he got in return was, at best, slightly off-putting. Hatake Kakashi was a wall of black, dressed head to foot in dark, nondescript clothes, with his arms crossed over his chest and absolutely no expression on his face—what little of it Yumon could see, anyway. The only hints of colour were the silver in his hair, the pale skin of his half-gloved hands and the visible quarter surrounding one eye, and the white bandage wrapped around his head. He was carved in monochrome, like ANBU armour brought to life.

And decidedly non-verbal. )
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Look to the Center [Satomi] [Feb. 5th, 2012|05:42 pm]
[[Takes place on November 4]]

Uchiha Satomi argued her way into the office of ANBU’s Director of Operations ten minutes before the Konoha Military Police arrived on her trail. By the time the first of her uncles was renewing the argument with the chuunin in the lobby, she was already seated in a high-backed chair in front of the heavy wooden desk, while a silent-footed secretary served porcelain cups of tea and Arakaki Hisoka flipped through her service file. He didn’t taste the tea. Satomi rubbed her split knuckles and didn’t touch her cup either.

She could hear the muffled edges of the altercation in the lobby: that was Fugaku’s voice, short and sharp, rising above the others, with Yashiro’s a low rumble beneath it. The chuunin’s answers were inaudible. The woman had said Konoha’s Military Police had no jurisdiction in ANBU HQ; ANBU took care of its own. At least, their Sentry Division did, and the Sentries reported to Arakaki. Arakaki reported to the Hokage himself. Satomi hoped like hell that was actually true.

Voices rose. Arakaki turned a page.

“Sir,” Satomi said at last. His dark eyes flicked up to her, unreadable. She set her jaw and forged forward.

“That file’s just more of the same. You won’t find anything in there my summary page didn’t tell you. I’m a jounin, I’ve got the full Sharingan, I’ve been running field recon and combat missions for six years, the only two mission failures I’ve had have half a ream of paper backing them up. I’d be an asset to ANBU under any circumstances.”

“And yet we haven’t recruited you.” Arakaki tapped a finger idly against one close-printed page. “Not everyone has the temperament for ANBU. Talent is not the only factor we look for in an agent, Uchiha-san.” His hand flattened on the page. He looked at her levelly, unblinking.

What did ANBU look for in its agents? Satomi had run into a few of the black-and-bone spooks, out in the wilds of the mission-field, and hadn’t noticed many differences from any other young and reckless shinobi wearing Konoha’s crest. Civilians called them baby-killers or heroes, depending on who they knew or which rumors they listened to. Shinobi, who knew better, seldom talked of them at all. )
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To Fit the Crime [Arakaki, Sandaime] [Feb. 5th, 2012|01:31 am]

[Takes place in the early morning hours of May 9th, five days after Waiting for Silent Sunrise, the day following Kakashi and Ginta's arrival back in Konoha with their rescue detail, and almost a month following Ryouma's disappearance.]

Arakaki Hisoka sat at his desk rubbing his temples and studying one of a half-dozen mission reports littered in front of him. He picked up one in his right hand and reached for a white ceramic mug of coffee with his left. One sip was all it took to change his mind about the beverage—it was barely lukewarm. He eyed the clock. Just past two.

It wasn’t too late, yet.

He tucked three of the reports in their folders, pushed a fourth into a red envelope and stashed that in a drawer, and left two face up. Then he pulled over a stack of personnel files, all in their black and white edged folders, stamped and sealed so only those with appropriate clearances could open them.

The top file was thick and battered, and the one underneath it wasn’t much cleaner. Then there were two slightly newer looking files, and one in a blue-tinted folder, black-and-white edged like the others, but with an additional seal affixed. He set the two newer brown folders to one side, placing the mission report filed by the Hokage’s son on one, and the mission report by Shida’s protege, Morino Ibiki, atop the other.

The blue folder labeled “Tousaki Ryouma” he pushed to the center of his desk, making the apex of a triangle with the remaining two—the veteran’s files—Sakamoto Ginta’s and Hatake Kakashi’s.

He’d read everything in each of those three files enough to be able to recite passages from memory. )
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Aren't Any Heroes Here [1/2] [Katsuko] [Jan. 31st, 2012|03:40 pm]

[[Backstory: Takes place during the 6-month timeskip, in early July]]

They’d told her to report at 0600. At 0610 Katsuko slammed open the door to briefing room three, her mission scroll in one hand and a sandwich in the other. “Ueno Katsuko,” she panted into the sudden silence. “Reporting for duty.”

The Intel agent standing at the head of the table glared at her. “You’re late, Ueno,” he said.

“Sorry, sorry,” Katsuko said, pulling out the closest chair and sinking into it with a relieved sigh. An amused snort made her start and turn, blinking at the room’s two other occupants.

Akimichi Daichi was leaning against the far wall, arms folded over his barrel-like chest. He lifted a large hand in greeting, a smirk crossing his usually placid features. “Slept in again, I see. How you doing, Ueno?”

Katsuko grinned, taking a bite out of her sandwich as she slipped the mission scroll into her belt pouch. "Pre’ee goo,” she said, through a mouthful of ham and cheese. “Coul’ be be’er, but y’know.”

The woman sitting cross-legged on the floor next to Daichi chuckled. )
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The Truth of the Matter [Ryouma, Kakashi, Katsuko] [Jan. 30th, 2012|11:20 pm]

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[[Takes place the morning of November 3rd, a few hours after Same Ghost Every Night.]]

There was a wolf in his dream.

He’d been trout-tickling at his favorite spot on an anonymous little creekbank in Lightning Country, except the trout grew legs and teeth and fought back, and his grandfather and Shiki and a grey-haired man with yellow teeth sat on the other side of the bank, drinking yellow-label rotgut shouchuu, and calling advice to the fish. Ryouma was too busy scraping fish-men off his arm to drive them off, but advice turned to taunts, and the teeth grew longer and sharper and sank into his flesh, and the clear water of the creek began to run red—

The wolf came wading upstream, chest-deep in blood, and the men on the other bank went silent. The wolf lowered its head and bit one of the fish-men off Ryouma’s arm. The fish-man stretched like a leech and then snapped with a tiny scream, and the wolf crunched it and swallowed.

The other fish-men dropped away with tiny plops, like real fish jumping. Ryouma took a deep, unsteady breath. “You shouldn’t have eaten that,” he said. “Fish bones can be dangerous.”

“I know,” the wolf said. It scrabbled heavily up the bank and lay down close beside him, radiating heat. “It’s okay,” it said. “Everything’s okay.” It swiped its tongue over Ryouma’s bloody fingers, then pinned his wrist with an enormous paw and began to work its way steadily up his lacerated arm. Its tongue was rough as sandpaper, and tickled in the raw wounds.

'You can't eat ME,' Ryouma said. )
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Waiting for Silent Sunrise [Asuma, Ibiki, Kakashi, Ginta] [Jan. 28th, 2012|04:12 pm]

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[Takes place immediately following Somewhere a Clock is Ticking]

The medic was about as cheerful as a sack of wet mice, but at least she was good at her job—and she’d divested the landscape of Ibiki, which was no bad thing.

Asuma held his half-lidded trance, humming soft and tuneless in the back of his throat as he pushed heat into Hatake and Ginta, sweat prickling at his temples and down his spine. Ibiki’s fire was bright and healthy, making the shadows dance, another good source of warmth.

“Cracked skull,” Saiyuri muttered to herself, in the same low way she’d said broken orbital socket; broken nose for Ginta. Her glowing hands were still wrapped around Kakashi’s head, doing who-knew-what to whatever piece of damage was lurking under all that blood-matted hair.

“Is his brain bleeding?” Asuma asked quietly, because that was a career-ender right there, if it didn’t snuff Hatake’s life out completely.

She shushed him.

Asuma bit his tongue.

A little snow drifted down outside, hissing as it landed in the fire, but the sky was still clear and star-spangled, lit up silver by a sickle moon. Ginta’s breathing rasped, soft but even. Pakkun crawled into Asuma’s lap, banished from his master with a stern word and a sharp glare. Asuma rumpled his ears with a free hand, sparing a twist of heat for the little dog.

And waited. )
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Same Ghost Every Night [Kakashi, Katsuko] [Jan. 21st, 2012|06:25 pm]
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[[Takes place early on November 3rd, four days after As The World Burns]]

She’s burning, everyone’s burning, flesh melting away from blackened bones. Honoka’s standing over her, bleeding around the dagger in her throat, silent accusation worse than a death sentence. Daichi’s screaming, curled around the blackened stump of his leg—

It was ANBU headquarters; people were used to random noises at all hours of the night. When Katsuko flailed awake, falling out of bed with a resounding crash, the only thing the woman in 316 did was knock on the wall between their rooms and call, “You still alive?”

After a moment, Katsuko stopped panting long enough to form words. “Looks like,” she croaked.

“Try not to put any holes in things,” 316 advised, and that was that. Katsuko kicked the blanket off and sat up, closing her eyes and pressing the heels of her palms into them hard enough she saw stars against her eyelids.

There was insomnia, and then there was seeing dead and injured teammates every time she dozed off. )
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As The World Burns [Kakashi, Katsuko, Ryouma] [Jan. 21st, 2012|05:25 pm]
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[Takes place on October 30, seven days after Nothing To Fear]

After her conversation with Ryouma in the cafe, after she’d finally reassured herself that he was alive and well and not a figment of her imagination, Katsuko had parted ways with him at a nearby intersection and started making her meandering way back to HQ. A glint in the display window of a nearby pawnshop had caught her eye and she’d stopped to look at it, curious.

What she found there made inspiration spark.

The refitters had said it would take a week to get the inscription done, so at ten in the morning—seven days after she’d bumped into Ryouma in an elevator and found out he wasn’t dead—she knocked on the door of one Hatake Kakashi’s apartment and waited, holding a wrapped package in her arms.

She’d forgotten to eat, as usual, and her stomach growled faintly as she shifted her weight from foot to foot. Idly, she wondered if Ryouma would be willing to let her rifle through Hatake’s kitchen. Surely a living legend would have a few spare granola bars laying around?
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A Light That Never Goes Out [3/3] [Kakashi & Ryouma] [Jan. 21st, 2012|02:07 pm]

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[Follows directly after A Light That Never Goes Out [2/3], the day before Nothing to Fear]

“Ow,” said Ryouma, much later. “I think I sprained something.”

“I think you deserved it,” Kakashi told him, watching narrow-eyed as little Jin walked stumble-footed up the garden path to a ramshackle house, hand in hand with Orin. Makoto and his red-headed friend, Saburo, had already gone. Saki was half-asleep on Ryouma’s back. “Are you sure it’s safe here?” Kakashi murmured.

It smelled like disuse and sweat and something rotten.

On Ryouma’s other side, Hanato nodded decisively. “Orin is Jin’s cousin,” he said. “She’ll look out for him.”

Kakashi glanced sidelong at Ryouma.

Ryouma just looked tired, suddenly, and a little sad. “She does a better job than I could. C’mon.” He turned, hefting Saki, who gave a quiet mumble and kicked one foot against his side. “Where’re you staying these days, Hanato? Still with your uncle?”

“Yeah,” said Hanato, flat. His eyes skated to Kakashi, clearly unwilling to discuss things with an interloper around.

Ryouma’s teeth bit into his lower lip, scent curling uncertain for a long enough moment that Kakashi almost offered to take Saki so that Ryouma could just go and talk to his furious little lieutenant, but then Ryouma came to his decision. “I’m tied down here in Konoha for the next month at least, til I’m mission-fit again and they decide what to do with me. I'll try to come down here more regular, but if you need to get in touch, don’t bother trying talk to ‘em up at HQ. Kakashi's putting me up right now—”

He paused and glanced at Kakashi, and Kakashi realized Ryouma probably didn’t know the address. )
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A Light That Never Goes Out [2/3] [Kakashi & Ryouma] [Jan. 21st, 2012|01:59 pm]

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[Follows directly after A Light That Never Goes Out [1/3], the day before Nothing to Fear]

The cheapest jacket Threads had to offer was a plain navy blue hoodie that Ryouma picked up without a second glance and slung on the counter.

Kakashi rolled his eyes, returned it to the rack, and went to the back of the store. It took him a second to find what he was looking for—broad shoulders and a slim waist made a trickier combination when you added height as well—but he knew he’d picked right when Ryouma’s eyes flicked wide.

“This one,” Kakashi said, holding up a heavy leather jacket dyed espresso-dark. He eyed it consideringly. “Looks sturdy enough to turn a blade.”

“That costs as much as half a B-rank,” Ryouma said, slightly strangled.

“Good. Then you know it’s strong enough to put up with all the abuse you’ll give it.” And it had the rock star edge Ryouma coveted, which Kakashi knew looked good on him. He tossed it to Ryouma, who caught it reflexively. “Try it on.”

Ryouma hesitated, fingertips brushing the leather, then set his mouth and shrugged the jacket on with a touch of a dramatic flare, like a man donning armour. He zipped it halfway and flexed his shoulders, twisting at the hip. The jacket was just a little loose, leaving enough room for the muscle Ryouma wanted to put back on, but it moved like water. “Feels good,” he said, a little surprised, a little longing. “Warm. How’s it look?”

Like sex on legs. )
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A Light That Never Goes Out [1/3] [Kakashi & Ryouma] [Jan. 21st, 2012|01:46 pm]

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[Takes place immediately after Stranger in a Strange Land, and the day before Nothing to Fear.]

Somewhere in the warm glow of mid-morning, Kakashi woke up and realized Ryouma wasn't there. His scent was still there, weaving through the air and the sheets like a living ribbon, and relief came in the shape of he’s alive, I’m not crazy, but there was still a hole in the world where Ryouma should have been standing.

He’d had bad dreams. Maybe he was walking them off.

And maybe good things happened to nice people.

Kakashi was up, half dressed and three-quarters panicked when the lock turned against the latch and Ryouma walked through the door.

"Morning!” he said cheerfully, kicking his boots off and hefting a cardboard box that smelled like sugar. “Shirtless is a good look on you. Cake?"

It would have been counter-productive to murder him with a coat-hanger, but for a moment Kakashi was severely tempted. )
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Stranger in a Strange Land [Asuma, Ryouma] [Jan. 5th, 2012|11:26 pm]

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[[Takes place the evening of October 21st and the morning of October 22nd, immediately after Resting Easy and Wise Men Keep Secrets, and the day before Ryouma’s meeting with Katsuko in Nothing to Fear.]]

The rumours of Ryouma’s return went through the village like wildfire. Asuma caught the gossip on the second evening, when he went to hand in a muddy but completed mission brief at the chuunin-desk, and found the pretty redhead in tears.

“Bad news, darlin’?”

She beamed at him, so he figured no.

It took him half an hour to get a coherent story out of her, but by the end of it he was grinning too.

“Crafty son of a bitch,” he said. “I thought for sure he was dead. Hey, is there any news on Akimichi Hitai?”

Reiko’s smile faded.

“Well, one out of two still ain’t bad,” Asuma said, a little sorry he’d brought it up. “I’m gonna have to take him around a cake, or something. You know where he’s staying?”

She wiped her eyes, blowing her nose lustily into the handkerchief he’d managed to find for her. Somehow, she managed to make that pretty, too. Kunoichi talent, he figured.

“I think...” she hesitated, and he arched his eyebrows. “It seemed like he was going home with Hatake Kakashi.”

Asuma blinked. )
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Somewhere a Clock Is Ticking [Asuma, Ibiki, Kakashi, Ginta] [Dec. 9th, 2011|02:02 am]

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[Takes place May 3, immediately following Tiny Little Fractures and approximately six hours following All Fall Down]

As mission partners went, Morino Ibiki ranked somewhere between creepy and bitchy, but at least he didn’t get seasick. The boat ride from Kuroihama to Hima was long, cold, and mostly boring. Asuma used the time to catch up on sleep in the hold, wedging himself between a netted stack of boxes and a dozen oiled canvas bags filled with sheepskins.

Ibiki stayed up on deck, brooding against the railing.

At least, it had looked like brooding. Maybe he’d been going over his grocery list.

When Asuma dragged himself yawning back to the deck, hours later, and forced a cigarette to light against the wind, the weather was icy. Unseasonably so for freakin’ May, even as far north as Lightning Country.

He found Ibiki still brooding, but on the opposite side. )
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Somebody Saved Me [Genma, Katsuko] [Nov. 30th, 2011|11:26 pm]

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[Adult Content Warning: This thread contains one NC-17 moment, about half-way through, which is noted in the title of the entry containing it.]

[Takes place in early September, approximately four months following Tiny Little Fractures and Something We’ve Been Missing.]

When Genma got the mission assignment, he didn’t tell Raidou. Not the details, anyway. Not that it was an eros mission. He packed up his kit and put his tools together, and sealed the necessary clothes and equipment into a scroll while Raidou was out for a run.

It wasn’t like Genma was cheating exactly, but... He felt weird about it. Felt so weird about it that he couldn’t quite bring himself to say, when he was kissing Raidou goodbye, “By the way, I’m going to be sucking cock on this mission. Don’t worry, I’ll play safe.”

He kissed his lover goodbye, shouldered his pack, pulled his mask into place, and went to the mission briefing without managing to mention what kind of mission this was at all. And he felt just a little like a bastard about it.

The briefer was a woman Genma knew pretty well )
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